That was a lot of fun! We got to the game early and walked to the stadium (avoiding the $20 parking), got some food and sat in our seats. We were literally four rows away from the field, at the 35 yard line. Visibility would have been better had we been a bit higher up, but being that close to the field was pretty fun. Reliant Stadium is huge!
I haven’t watched a Rice football game since I graduated, as far as I can remember, so the team was very different. When I was there it was a lot of running, and a pass play almost qualified as a trick play because they happened so rarely. Rice ended up running a decent amount, but their passing game was stellar. Chase Clement (their senior QB) is quite good – he ran for Rice’s first touchdown and threw for a few as well. He was good at avoiding the pass rush too – on one particularly nice touchdown throw he did a neat little turn to throw off the rusher and had plenty of time to step and throw.
Jarrett Dillard (Rice’s All-American WR) was pretty amazing too – he made some nice catches (my dad says he has a 42″ vertical leap!). James Casey sometimes lined up at tight end, sometimes at fullback, and he returned punts and was the holder for the field goal kicker 🙂
Rice tried a few trick plays including a flea flicker (QB hands off to the fullback who takes a few steps, tosses it back to the QB who then throws a long pass) which didn’t work, and a reverse followed by an attempted pass which would have worked but it was a bad throw. One that did work was with four wide receivers lined up on the left, Clement quickly threw to Dillard and then took off to the right. Dillard took a few steps, stopped and threw it to Clement who waltzed in to the end zone. It was awesome 🙂
Here’s the game recap – it was never close at all (Rice won 38-14 but went up 38-0 and then started taking out first-string players). The downside was that it wasn’t that exciting per se, but it was nice the coach got to take out Clement and Dillard to a standing ovation.
The stadium was reasonably full and there were unsurprisingly a lot of Rice fans, including NI’s former VP of R&D who I ran into. We got some good cheers going and stuff 🙂 I went with my dad and sister (not wonderjess, the other one who refuses to get a LJ account…) and had a lot of fun! Got to use my new camera for the first time and it performed well – took a lot of good pictures that I’ll post when I figure out how to download them…
Edit: pictures now up!